Sunday, 28 February 2010

Spiritual Sunday - A pause in Lent week 2


First an update on my giving up shouting.  I am trying and trying I am, I have not yet succeeded, but I am more aware of it, as are the boys.  If I do shout they tell me off, but they also react.  So I am still trying to give up shouting, just as the boys are trying to give up fighting!

What is lent and what should it mean to me as a modern reluctant worshiper?

I find this very hard to fathom, yes I know that it is a time of reflection and preparation for Easter.  A time to consider Jesus sacrifices and also his time spent in the desert.  A time to consider Judas' betrayal.  But how does that correspond to my life as a modern day mum of two boys and how do I mark this event?

I said last week that I didn't want to forsake something like chocolate, as I wanted the boys to understand that giving up something didn't mean taking from or self deprivation and that in choosing to try and give up shouting it was of benefit to us all.
But even then that just doesn't feel to represent enough what lent should mean.  I am finding it hard to navigate this journey through lent, it is without many of the familiar sights and sounds of other times of the Christian calender.

MadDad and I were married during Lent, the vicar thought it was a great idea and we were allowed to remove the purple cloths and to also bring in to the church flowers for the service.  In our local church they never had flowers during lent and also covered the crosses with purple cloths.  In doing this we upset a number of the older congregation, but still to this day I do not understand why it should not be as acceptable to be married during lent.

Out vicar told me I should look upon lent as a time when Jesus put others before himself and that for a good and strong marriage we should always consider the other person, that we should love one another as Jesus would have loved us.  

So for me Lent has become a time where I tend to take stock and concentrate on my marriage, to try not to put the children and others first all the time, but to try and concentrate on MadDad, to not expect everything to just work, every good machine needs a little oil at some time.


Friday, 26 February 2010

Why have children when you have parents?

I suppose there comes a time in every person's life when their parents stop being the supporters and start being the ones who need the support and the help of their children.

Well it seems that that time has come all too soon in the Mad family.  My mum who is only 66 is in hospital yet again.  She is not in the best of health generally as she suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, but she how has COPD and is suffering with type 2 respiratory failure and it appears that she caught a chest infection on her holiday in Florida, which meant that she became oxygen compromised and when me and MiniMad visited at 9am on Wednesday morning, we couldn't rouse her and had to call 999. (she returned to the UK late Monday).

Safe to say Wednesday is not a day I want to repeat in a hurry, the whole experience was frightening, not only for me, but my adorable, perceptive and impressionable three year old was in the thick of it too.

The Ambulance and first responder staff were excellent and she was blue lighted to A&E.  Me and Mini followed behind in the car.  The first thing I did after ring for an ambulance was to call MadDad and ask him to meet me at the hospital to take Mini, as he didn't need to see anymore of this.

Now my mum has been hospitalised with breathing difficulties before in January of this year in fact, but never as serve as this.  She is a strong willed woman and not only was she virtually silent, she was compliant and fading in and out of consciousness.  

I watched, listened and talked to the nurses and the doctor and we made the decision to put mum on to DPAP, as she really wasn't getting enough oxygen even with a mask on.  It was a very, very frightening time for me.  Even with the DPAP my mums stats weren't rising sufficiently and we had to discuss ventilation, this felt like a slap in the face for me.

When my father was involved in an industrial accident more than 9 year ago, he was ventilated so I know all the issues that come with ventilation and once someone has had it, well recovery is a challenge and also it can become necessary for future hospitalisation's.

Thankfully she started to pull through and her statistics improved thanks to some medication they gave her, but all the same I was emotionally exhausted.  She was finally stable enough to be transferred from resus to a ward at 4.30 pm.  That was when I got my first drink of the day!

I left her sleeping at 5.30 and came home to eat with the mini's and pop them to bed, well we all had a cuddle on Mummy's bed and that was all I remember till 6am yesterday morning.  I was emotional exhausted as well as physically tired.

Me and the mini's visited yesterday and she is going to be in quite a while, so is now reliant on me and my brother for everything she needs yet again.  We have agreed that I will visit daily with the children from 3pm to 5pm and then he will visit from 7pm to 8pm.  This means an additional hour a day in the car for me and the boys as the hospital is not close to us in the sticks.

Harder than all the visiting is having to make the decisions on what needs to be done.  Mum will be in a while and will not be allowed home without oxygen, which means that she has to stop smoking.  I told her this yesterday and she is going to.  neither I nor the nurses will wheel her out for a cigarette and she isn't well enough to walk, so lets hop this time she really does stop.

I am so glad that she is going to be OK, but I can only see things going down hill from this point forward.  I will have to become more and more involved with her care and ensure that she is looked after correctly.  I will have to mother her, when all I want is for her to mother me.  I am 36 years old and already my mother needs my support and care.

It is expected of me as her daughter, she expects it, my brother expects it and to some extent I knew it was coming, but just not so early.  My baby's are only 3 and 4 they need me still, they need to be the centre of my life and have all my attention.  I don't want to share it yet, I am not ready.
The thing is my mum and dad nursed my paternal grandfather at home and after that she said that she would never subject me or my brother to it, but slowly it is what she is doing.  little by little she is expecting more and gets upset if I tell her that I can not manage it.  

So what am I going to do, I don't know...... not yet, my focus at the moment it to get her out of hospital and settled with oxygen at home and then I will think about the future.  But one thing I do know is I will manage, I can manage.  I am a mother.


Thursday, 25 February 2010

Marching to the beat of my Drum


I used to be in a marching band
I used to play the kazoo
yep that awful, awful gold thing
that no one knew what to do

I used to wear a uniform
with frilly knickers underneath
I used to wear a big white hat
with a chain that hit my teeth

Green and white or Red and blue
The uniform depended on what you do
I had gold epaulets and a sash with medals on
My mum and dad were very proud and used to cheer me on

I had a feather in my hat
knee high socks that just wernt cool
This was the secret that I kept
From my friends in school

The thing is that I was good at it
I won lots of trophies and awards
My unform now is all fornlorn
in my mothers drawers

Twice a week we used to practice
in the old pier hall
until the floor became rotton
And the boards began to fall

We walked for miles and miles
not always in weaqther all that fine
I was promoted to Band Major
I swang my mace and ensured that we all kept time

I used to be in a bank you know
It wasn't cool, it wasn't hip
I used to be in a band you know
I aren't any more, so tootle pip


Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Children's Craft Showcase - Masking Tape

This one goes out to all of you with little ones, ones that scribble and just love free art.


Masking tape, as low tack as possible
crayons, pens, pencils, glitter, paint

I know that I keep going on about not passing your perfectionism on to your children and letting them express themselves, but it is so true.  I also know that there are lots of people out there who don't craft with their children because they fear the mess, well this is one for you.

By using masking tape, you can tape the paper on to the table, which is great for smaller children and stopped the paper moving.

You can also use different width tape, as the aim is to create a border of blank paper around the drawing.

Mini loves scribbling or making the paper colourful and this is a great way of letting him express himself.  I have also used this method with stamping and fabric printing.


So if you are inspired to do any crafty things with your children over the next couple of weeks then please link to me with the McLinky as I look to look at the things you all make and do.

Future Projects

We are going to be doing some Easter projects so please keep some egg shells for out next showcase!


Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Dr F's Casebook

Pajama bear had to go in for surgery over the weekend, you see he had developed a couple of holes and he needed to be fixed.

So cue the medical kit - stat, outfit - stat, stethoscope -stat, tape - stat, well you get the picture.

Mini was a very good doctor, who decided all would be well one he "snipped off bears boobies"!  He made sure that he was kind and considerate to his patient.

He tried to tape him up and bandage him, but to no avail, emergency surgery was required and mummy Consultant had to administer sutures, whilst nurse mini and maxi assisted.

The patient has had plenty of rest and fluids and is feeling a lot better now and so is Mini.

But Golly being a Junior Doctor is exhausting work!

As you can possibly tell mini has a bear obsession.  He needs his bears and they all have names, we have Pajama bear, Bear Bear and Red Bear in the above picture, but in his bed are Spare Bear (same as Bear Bear), Red Bear Two, moon bear, tatty princess, blue bear and music bear).


Sunday, 21 February 2010

Spiritual Sunday - A pause in Lent


I am taking part in Floss at Troc, Broc and Recup's pause in lent.  we took part in the advent one and it was great fun and very informative for me and the boys.  This is going to be more of a challenge for me, as there is less we can do to reinforce the message.

So what is Lent, I have explained to the boys that lent is one of the most important times in the Christian calendar and is the 6 weeks build up to Easter.  To keep things basic we explained that it is 40 days and nights, excluding Sundays, which represents the time Jesus spent fasting in the desert.

We don't want to go down the giving something physical up for Lent yet, as the boys are too young yet, but we have discussed how my giving up shouting can be positive for all the family.  We have asked them to give up something too and they have agreed to give up fighting!

I am going to use the time to talk about why Jesus had to die in a very basic form and also about repentance.
Also we will be doing Easter crafts too, like painting eggs, making palm leaves, crosses etc.

Floss has a list of all the people participating on her blog, I am really looking forward to reading all their blogs over the next six weeks and am so excited about what I can learn and share with the boys.


Friday, 19 February 2010

Pen pals for Children Required and Secret Post Club

We all love receiving mail and Heather at Notes from Lapland has started the secret post club to satisfy  the need to send and receive little parcels in the mail.

I received my wonderful parcel this week and it was  lovely to receive something in the mail.  I was paired with Silent Beauty, American Mom in England and I received some wonderful yarn and two special boxes of yummy treats.

Now this got me thinking and I would love to start something similar for the children in our life, but rather than sending a present, it becomes a letter swap.  Old fashioned pen pals.

Image Creedit D Sharon Pruitt
I would love to encourage maxi and mini to have better penmanship and to encourage them to write, but to also communicate effectively by mail and there is something wonderful about receiving mail, even as a child.

So If you would like to get involved then either e-mail me (address as the bottom of the blog) and I will co-ordinate.  Initially I will need the age and sex of your child or children  and any preferences and then I will pair them up.  I think it would be nice for the children to remain pen pals long term, so that they can develop a relationship,

It will be great to tell them about the are they live, their family, their interests, hobbies, holidays etc. 

So come on sign up and lets get our children writing, lets introduce them to the joys of letter writing and receiving and lets keep penmanship alive.


Nature or Nurture

I have clever children, there I have said it.  I have got rid of the elephant in the room.  They are very bright and intelligent (gifted and talented they call them at school, but that term just doesn't sit well with me, as all children are talented in someway).  But before I go on about their amazing abilities, let me tell you a story:

I use to feel inferior as a mum, both the boys were late walkers and never even crawled.  I used to compare maxi to his peers in my NCT antenatal group when we lived in Berkshire.  I used to come home and cry and feel inferior as he wasn't meeting his milestones as the other children were.  I was a bad mummy, I didn't "do" tummy time or structured play activities.  I would much rather enjoy a baby massage with him or sing and dance.  I didn't have the right parenting books, I was not allowing him to be the best he could.

Then things got much worse, Maxi became unwell and I became pregnant and the thought of going to signing tots or music with mummy, just didn't appeal to me anymore, so we played at home, I took him swimming once a week at least and we would go to a little music group which had only just started up down the road.  We looked at moving back to the North East so that I didn't have to go back to work.
All the other children in the group were walking, eating well and sleeping.  I couldn't compete.  Maxi eventually walked at 15 months 2 days before mini was born.

When mini was born, we went out for lots of walks and played in the park, I continued to take both the boys swimming at least once a week and we sang lots of songs and always chatted during the day.  We had fun.  I didn't worry about tummy time with mini, I didn't feel I had to do things any other way that our way.  I was free of the competitive nature of mothers with children the same age, as I never went to an antenatal class I didn't have anyone to compare him too.  So when he didn't walk till 17 months old I wasn't worried and when he started mimicking words at 7 months old I thought nothing of it.

I just loved the boys and wanted them to be happy.  Fast forward to last weeks parents evening.  

Both boys are exceptionally clever it seems, Mini can read, count to over 100, do single figure additions and has a passion for music.  He sometimes struggles with his new found temper, but he is amazing.  He makes friends really easily and chatters away to all and sundry with great inter-personal skills.
Maxi is whizzing ahead.  He is doing mathematics from year 2 and will be moving on to year 3 after half term.  He can do multiplication, understands and works in thousands, hundreds, tens and units.  He loves helping the other children with their math work, explaining it to them in an easily understandable way.

He is top of the class for phonics and writing.  His investigative skills are growing day by day and he has a love and understanding of basic science principals way above his years.

But even though he has all this ability, he is not smug, in fact he is the opposite he revels in his friends getting star of the day or one off awards, he doesn't crave recognition in any way at school and is a joy to teach.

He is kind and considerate and as much at home playing tig and starwars in the playground as he is in a small group telling a story.  He is 5 in March.  He is amazing and fills me with joy and fear in equal measure.

The question I am always asked is what am I doing to help the boys, what work do I do with them, as they don't want their children to miss out.

But the thing is, I have never hot housed the boys, we don't do flash cards or sums and exercises at home.  I don't make them read to me if they don't want to.  I don't force them to do homework.  I have never made them recite numbers or the alphabet to me.

But, we do have magnetic numbers and letters on the fridge, we sing songs, we make things, we talk all the time, our books are all on display and within easy reach, we visit the library, we still go swimming, we laugh, dance, create, we go on the PC, spend time on the wii, live and love.

I am not a great believer in after-school activities, both boys come home and the first thing after a snack is play outside, go to the park or go out on their scooters.  I don't feel the need to limit screen time, our only rule there is that there is none after 6pm and both boys have a leapster.

So the thing is they are just the way they are, the thirst for knowledge may not continue and I don't mind that (well I don't think I will, only time will tell).  They may just start to balance with all the children in their classes as they get older.  They may get distracted by other activities.  But this is fine, ultimately all I still want for them is to be happy.

So is it nature of nurture their cleverness, well MadDad is clever too, he did his exams etc a year earlier, but I am just kind of average.  In my opinion what good is intelligence if you don't have the ambition to match.  Also I quite like being average, It has never held me back.  I did well at work, excelled in fact.  If I set my mind to something, then I tend to find a way to achieve it.

I just don't know, but we are all happy and we are all healthy so we will be going on as we have been and taking each day as it comes, with lots of loving and firm family values.

But you know what the things that thrilled me most were hearing about how well they are behaved, that they have good interpersonal skills and are both joys to teach.  This wasn't just by their own teachers, but other people came up to us in the course of the evening and told us that we should be proud of our boys and you know what, we are.  We have been unable to wipe the smiles of our faces.


Thursday, 18 February 2010

Writing Workshop - What were you doing this time last year


It is karma that this prompt came up on this weeks workshop, as I have been discussing this with my wonderful friend Wendy (my homestart lady) today. We took the boys for a good old run out and about yesterday afternoon in the woodlands near home and stopped for a well needed pot of tea and scone, whilst the boys climbed trees outside the cafe.

It is nearly one year since my first breast surgery. I was frantically trying to fit everything in that I needed to. I have booked 6 weeks of Tesco Deliveries, a book of all the things the boys liked, ate, did and schedules. But specifically the one thing I was doing a year ago was writing letters.

I wrote 4 letters and 3, I will share with you, the one I wrote to MadDad is not and never will be for public consumption, but I wrote one each to the boys and one explaining why i was doing what I was.

Writing those letters was the hardest thing I had ever had to do, but I was so unsure of the outcome of the surgery and so scare of dying I just needed the boys to have something to hold on to if the worst happened.

Letter One - Why I am doing this

BRACA and its implications to us all as a family

I wanted to explain to you both why I am undergoing the surgeries I am and how it can or could impact on our lives, both individually and as a family.


My Aunty C (Grandma’s sister) died of cancer when I was younger and it was a really hard time. My cousins were in their teens and it was really hard on them. Then Aunty T contracted Primary Peritoneal cancer, which thankfully at this time is in remission. Whilst she was undergoing her treatment a blood sample was taken for genetic testing due to her older sister having died of cancer and also the link of peritoneal cancer to both breast and ovarian cancer.

We all were over the moon when she was given the news that she was in remission and that the treatment had worked, but this was tempered with the news that she had a “spelling mistake” in the gene that is responsible for Breast and Ovarian cancer. Grandma was offered a test for the same genetic fault and she too was found to be positive and had her ovaries removed.

As Grandma was positive, I too was offered a blood and DNA test to see if I too carried the spelling mistake. Your daddy and I discussed the implications and we decided to have the test in January 2008. 6 weeks later I was given the news I expected which was that I too was positive.

We met with a number of doctors and consultants and researched lots and lots and finally after lots of soul searching made the decision to have prophylactic surgery.

All the research I had done indicated that removal of the ovaries before turning 35 was most beneficial in reducing the risk of both ovarian and breast cancer, so in July 2008 I underwent surgery to remove my ovaries and fallopian tubes.

I made a super recovery, I was driving two days later and went swimming with both you boys the week later.

We also discussed the prospect of a double mastectomy and reconstruction with an oncologist and plastic surgeon. There were a number of reasons that I chose to have this operation, even though it is quite a major one.

· Breast cancer is very hard to diagnose before 40 even with annual mammograms or MRI’s as the breast tissue is denser the younger you are.

· My risk of breast cancer is an 85% lifetime risk; a mastectomy reduces it to about 6%

· It is harder to diagnose BC correctly on larger breasted ladies.

So based on these facts and after talking to people who have had breast cancer and treatment for it, we decided to go ahead with the operation and it is scheduled for 27 February 2009.

There is a risk that I still may get an associated cancer and so will need to remain vigilant, but at least this way I am not living with a ticking time bomb.

The Future

Due to the operation I am having, I will need further operations in the future, but these will be a lot smaller and less risky.

One of the things that does upset me is that there is also a possibility that you both carry the “spelling mistake” or mutation too and this will have implications in your health and also the health of any children you may go on to have. You will both be offered the test at 16 and can make the decision yourself if you want to find out.

I hope that the way medicine is moving forward that the gene is now isolated that it can be repaired and that you will not even need to make any decision about your or future children’s health.

I am doing this so that we can all have a future as a family, so that I can watch you grow, develop and change without the worry that I may not be around much longer.

Maxi Mads Letter

Dearest Maxi

I so hope that you do not have to read this letter, but if you are it means that something terrible has happened.

I wanted you to know just how much you mean to me and how much I love you and your brother and daddy too.

You bring me such joy and amazement everyday and sometimes terrify me with your ability to remember the littlest thing. You always know what to say to make me smile and are the most amazing son a mother could have asked for.

I had a challenging pregnancy with you and then an eventful birth followed. You were a beautiful baby. I and your daddy were so sure that we would think you looked wonderful no matter what and we were right, but you defiantly prove the rule that the sum of the whole is greater than the two parts.

Sleep was not something you blessed me and daddy with and you gave us quite a scare when at 4 months old you developed breathing difficulties and have to be hospitalised and helped to breath. You were a fighter and pulled through, only to go downhill again a month later (the week before your baptism), but again you made a fantastic recover and got out of hospital the night before we travelled back to R for your joint Christening with V.

Your little brother Mini was born when you were 15 months old and all of a sudden you went from being an only child to being a big brother and you were and still do look after “your baby” and “Lee Lee” as you used to call him.

You have a natural ability for mathematics and puzzles and often can do them faster than me (not that I am any good at them).

I have always wanted for you to be happy and to enjoy life, to not be too burdened with the worries before your time. I want you to have a happy and carefree childhood and have enjoyed spending time on the beach with you and also taking you swimming on a weekly basis, in fact you are and always have been my water baby. You say you would like to be a “surfer dude” and will have all the rad moves.

You can be quite challenging, but that it down to the fact that you are bright as a button and if not kept occupied then can be very mischievous. Infact once you took all the glitter out of the craft cupboard and decorated the house.

You love your food and I love cooking for you and we have had great fun growing our own veg and fruit. We have a messy, but happy time in the kitchen baking and cooking together. We like to make muffins and pizza together and we love to all eat at the table as a family.

You can use a computer better than me and can beat all of us on the wii at MarioKart.

I have been lucky to have been able to remain off work and spend lots of time with you, watching you grow and develop, but also influencing (hopefully positively) the person that you are going to be.

I would like you to remember that you were born of love and that I love you more than words can express. You have brought me so much joy and laughter. I am sure that you will grow up to be a fine man.

Remember to keep helping round the house, learn how to iron and cook and you will be a real catch. If you can be half the man your daddy is then I will be happy.

e have wanted to instil in you manners, morals and a sense of kindness and compassion. I would like you to take a look at the world and look for the best in it and in people and try to stay positive, even when times may be hard.

I would like you to try and develop a deep and constant friendship with your brother, family is important. It was the reason we return to the North East from Reading where you were born. So please keep in touch with all of them.

I hope the rest of your life is everything you want it to be. Hard things can and will happen and I know you will find ways to survive, be strong and learn. Daddy and Mini will be great people to grow up with, lean on, rely on (and argue with sometimes!). I hope you will have a group of special friends to trust and eventually someone special to love. I hope you find work that satisfies and nourishes you. I hope your dreams come true – whatever they may be. And on the special days of your life, remember me and know that I am so proud of you and I am surrounding you with love.

It has been wonderful to share these years with you. I'm so sorry I couldn't stay. I'd have done anything to be able to. My love for you is so strong – nothing can break it, certainly not something as insignificant as death. My love will surround you, protect you, nourish you and support all the days of your life.

Mini's Letter

Dearest Mini

I so hope that you do not have to read this letter, but if you are it means that something terrible has happened.

I wanted you to know just how much you mean to me and how much I love you and your brother and daddy too.

You are a light in the dark sky, a fantastic son and a wonderful brother too. You made our family complete and have always enjoyed being my baby and had a special smile that you only use for me. When you were tiny you would only settle for me and secretly it was nice, especially as Maxi is such a daddy’s boy.

You were a very much planned for a wanted addition. We enjoyed Maxi so much that we wanted another child as soon as we could. We were blessed to have you so soon after trying.

You were gorgeous, just like your big brother, but you had a wonderful head of dark hair just like me. Again you were not a great sleeper initially, but I used to look at you and your big brown eyes and everything would be all right

You were and are such a placid little man, fitting right into our family, as though you had always been there. You were a proper little mimic and it seems as though you were talking from 6 months old and have a fantastic musical ability. You love to dance and you love The Wiggles more than you love me – or so you say. You love playing on your guitar and being a rock star.

As you grow, you seem to look more and more like your grandpa B and my one regret is that he has been unable to meet both you boys.

You have the ability to make even the sternest person smile and seen to bring happiness to everyone.

You have been blighted with my temper and are a stubborn as a mule refusing to back down and if you don’t want to do something, then boy do we all know.

You may not have wanted to sleep early on, but you love your bed and sleep now and cuddle all your bears in bed – there is Bear, Bear Bear, Spare Bear (to wash against the other), Moon Bear and Red Bear who all have to go to bed with you and you take two on car journeys too.

You love to colour and read books, you like to tell me the story, in addition to having them read for you. Your imagination is vast and filled with a childish innocence. You have great fun at toddlers when it is sticking and gluing. In fact you are filled with a wonderful creativity. You love watching the moon on a night.

I would like you to remember that you were born of love and that I love you more than words can express. You have brought me so much joy and laughter. I am sure that you will grow up to be a fine man.

I like to think that I have been blessed to have been able to spend the precious early years of your life with you and hope that I have managed make a positive impact on you and shape the person that you are going to be. I hope that you have a strong sense of belonging and that you always remember how much I love you.

Remember to keep helping round the house, learn how to iron and cook and you will be a real catch. If you can be half the man your daddy is then I will be happy.

We have wanted to instil in you manners, morals and a sense of kindness and compassion. I would like you to take a look at the world and look for the best in it and in people and try to stay positive, even when times may be hard.

I would like you to try and develop a deep and constant friendship with your brother, family is important. It was the reason we return to the North East from Reading before you were born. So please keep in touch with all of them.

I hope the rest of your life is everything you want it to be. Hard things can and will happen and I know you will find ways to survive, be strong and learn. Daddy and Maxi will be great people to grow up with, lean on, rely on (and argue with sometimes!). I hope you will have a group of special friends to trust and eventually someone special to love. I hope you find work that satisfies and nourishes you. I hope your dreams come true – whatever they may be. And on the special days of your life, remember me and know that I am so proud of you and I am surrounding you with love.

It has been wonderful to share these years with you. I'm so sorry I couldn't stay. I'd have done anything to be able to. My love for you is so strong – nothing can break it, certainly not something as insignificant as death. My love will surround you, protect you, nourish you and support all the days of your life.


Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Shrove Tuesday, Lent and Ash Wednesday

So lets do this in order shall we.....

We used up our eggs (fresh from the butcher) and all had a wonderful evening meal with tons of pancakes. In fact it is one of my most pleasant memories from childrhood, pancake day, reinforced every year by the same routine and due to the joy that this memory brings me, I do the same with my little men

Table set for a dinner of sweet pancakes, sugar, lemon juice, raspberry sauce and golden syrup, tea cups for all and also sugar cubes and a large pot of tea.  Mum (yes me) in the kitchen on what seems to be a conveyor belt of pancake making and the men in my life eating them all.

Yep, no starter, no main, just desert.  The one day a year we could get away with it as children, a real treat something we looked forward to with sweet anticipation.  So I hope the same will come to pass with the mini's and there is just something when your four year old tells you that you are awesome for being able to flip pancakes.

One of the things we discussed was why pancake day happens and what lent will mean for the boys.  What are we going to give up.  Well they are going to think about it and come back to us as the dinner table tonight.  I have had a long hard think about what I am going to do for lent.  Yes I could give up something physical for lent, but have decided that this year, I am going to make it harder than just giving up crisps or the like.  

his year, drum roll please.............................................................

I am giving up shouting

Yes I am under no illusion that this isn't going to be easy for me, but I want the boys to understand that denying yourself something, doesn't have to be negative in all its connotations.  Lent means more than that to me.

Lent means more to us as a family, we got married in Lent, Maxi was born during lent and I don't want the boys understanding of Christianity to be based on fire and brimstone's.  I think we are less straight along the line of our beliefs.

So that is me, I am not going to be a shoutie fishwife mum over lent and hopefully we will all see a permanent change in me.  what are you giving up for lent?


Tuesday, 16 February 2010

What is in my handbag Meme and an award

I have been tagged by Emily at Babyrambles to show you what is in my handbag, so all for keeping it real, here is what is in my great fatface bag (which was a great bargain in the sale for £15 with my Christmas money). Firstly a need a washable bag, secondly it is great now I no longer need a nappy bag woohoo.

In the front pockets, I have my iphone, in its cath kidston case and my coin purse

In the bag I have:

Organised mum diary
Bright ideas note book
Shopping list book

Colouring pencils
3 pens
aromatherapy oil
2 lip glosses
Spare Specs for Mini

mini sewing kit
Glasses wipe
Leather gloves
Woolly Hat
Groceries pouch

So there you go, nothing out of the ordinary, well apart from the fact that there is no sweets in my bag, so I am going to tag 5 others and get them to show me what is in their bag.  Over to:

Heather from Notes from Lapland - I was wondering is she had to carry de-icer in her bag!
Michelle at Mummy from The Heart
Tasha at Wham-Bam
Penny at the HenHouse
Beci at the Ramblings of an everyday mummy

I have also been awarded a lovely sunshine award from The Moiderer, Michelle at Mummy from the heart, Silent Beauty at American Mom in England  and Magic Mummy at the Diary of a Frugal Family which is great and I will pop in my side bar for all to see.

I am supposed to pass this on to 12 people, but you all bring sunshine to my life dear readers, so if you don't have it already, consider yourself tagged, add it to your side bar and I will add you to this post.


Monday, 15 February 2010

Menu Plan Monday and shortbread recipe

It is half term for me and the minimads this week, so I have lunches to make for all and then MadDad will be on on Friday, so we are going for a day out


Lunch - Sandwiches
Dinner - Curry and rice


Lunch - Pancakes
Dinner -Spag bol


Lunch - leftovers
Thursday - Jambalaya


Picnic and pot luck


Home made chicken burgers and wedges
Home made pizza

Sunday - I am not sure what meat we will be going with this week, I will see what is on offer at the butchers

I also wanted to give you the recipe for the almond shortbread biscuits, as they are very simple to make and really good for children, as you cant really over handle the dough:


150g of plain flour
25 g of ground rice or ground almond
100 chilled butter
50g caster Sugar
almond essence
tea spoon of milk


Cut up the butter in to small chunks and rub in to the flour and almond/ground rice
Add other ingredients and squeeze them all into a dough
Sprinkle top with flour and roll out to 5mm thick
Use cookie cutter  and place on a baking tray.
Cook at 170 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes
Allow to cool for 2 minutes and then lift on to a wire rack to cool


You can add lemon or orange zest and two teaspoons of their juice rather than the almond essence and milk.


Sunday, 14 February 2010

Spiritual Sunday - St Valentines Day

What are we celebrating today?, Who was valentine?

Well wikipedia says

He was arrested and imprisoned upon being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. Helping Christians at this time was considered a crime. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner -- until Valentinus tried to convert the Emperor -- whereupon this priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that didn't finish him, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate.

MadDad and I have told the boys it is a day for recognising the people you love and for standing up for the values you believe in.


We believe in each other and we all made homemade valentine cards this week, the boys gave people who mean a lot to them at school the valentines flower Lolly's.
We also made some lovely almond shortbread biscuits and stamped them with love.  We did try to make cupcakes, but they all got ate before we could decorate them!

I hope you have a great valentines day and also Happy Chinese New Year.

I am feeling a lot better today, I managed a couple of naps yesterday and also a full nights sleep (with the aid of some sleeping tablets).  MadDad and the boys have treated me really well and also let me have a lie in too.


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